Two Hispanic researchers from Argonne receive national acclaim

By Eleanor TaylorAugust 25, 2010

Two researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have been recognized for outstanding achievement. Jorge Alvarado was honored by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC), and Monica Regalbuto was named one of the 2010 Powerful Hispanics in Energy by the editors of Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology (HE&IT).

"Monica and Jorge are both at the forefront in conducting and directing research essential to our future," said Argonne Director Eric Isaacs. "They are both outstanding role models and demonstrate the importance of diversity, talent, leadership and technical expertise we value at Argonne."

Alvarado, who was born in Costa Rica, has worked at Argonne since 1993. He received HENAAC's Outstanding Technical Achievement award for his work in environmental remediation and organic chemistry. The award is presented to a scientist who has made "significant contributions to science, engineering or technology." Alvarado leads a team that works to clean up and protect the environment by developing new methodologies and cost-effective ways to quickly identify hazardous chemicals and implement remediation techniques. He was also part of a team that developed new instrumentation for detecting heavy isotopes, which won an R&D 100 award and was highlighted as one of the best technologies of the 20th century.

HENAAC identifies and documents the achievements of America’s best and brightest engineers. The HENAAC Awards, presented annually since 1989, recognize some of the nation's top engineers, scientists and technologists of Hispanic heritage.

Alvarado will receive the award at the HENAAC Awards Show on October 8, 2010, at the Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Monica Regalbuto, a senior chemical engineer and former HENAAC award-winner, was recently named one of HE&IT magazine's "2010 Powerful Hispanics in Energy." The magazine awards the honor based on a "range of qualitative and quantitative information, such as strong commitment to their communities, leadership as role models for young and upcoming leaders and senior status within their organizations."

Regalbuto has contributed to the development of innovative energy technologies throughout her professional career. As a researcher at Argonne, Regalbuto has made key contributions to nuclear fuel cycle technology, and led the development of a computer model to optimize processes for separating dissolved spent nuclear fuel. Under her leadership, Argonne conducted a highly successful demonstration for separating cesium-137 from high-level radioactive waste at DOE’s Savannah River site.

The full article, “2010 Powerful Hispanics in Energy”, will be featured in the 25th anniversary fall edition of HE&IT magazine in September 2010.